Name: Mark Takai
Congress: Hawaii, District: 1, Democrat
Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 14%
Status: Former Member of the House
13% (114th Congress: 2015-2016)
|H R 5538: Power Plant Emissions|
|Vote Date: July 12, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|During consideration of the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill (H.R. 5538), Representative Scott Peters (D-Calif.), on behalf of Representative Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), introduced an amendment that would remove provisions in the bill that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from limiting the greenhouse gas emissions of new and existing power plants.|
The House rejected Peters’ amendment on July 12, 2016 by a vote of 182 to 244 (Roll Call 431). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to be making environmental regulations. Such regulations on power plants will likely do nothing to actually help the environment, but will hurt consumers via higher prices and will almost certainly cause job losses in the energy sector. The EPA is an unconstitutional federal agency created by executive order, and Congress really ought to abolish it. Any action to limit the EPA’s power is a good thing.
|H R 5485: Abortion|
|Vote Date: July 6, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|During consideration of the Financial Services Appropriations bill (H.R. 5485), Representative Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) introduced an amendment that would strike section 613 of the bill, which prohibits Federal Employee Health Benefits Program funds from being used to pay for an abortion or abortion-related expenses. Essentially, Grayson’s amendment would allow federal employees to have abortions covered by their taxpayer-funded health insurance.|
The House rejected Grayson’s amendment on July 6, 2016 by a vote of 177 to 245 (Roll Call 364). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the U.S. government should not be subsidizing abortions. While it is certainly constitutional for the federal government to provide healthcare to federal employees, abortion is not healthcare. The federal government should not be using taxpayer money to pay for the taking of innocent life.
|H R 5293: Warrantless Surveillance|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5293), Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) introduced an amendment to bar the use of funds in the bill from being used to conduct warrantless searches of Americans’ digital communications that have crossed the U.S. border. Massie noted in a letter to his colleagues that “the Director of National Intelligence has confirmed that the government searches vast amounts of data — including the content of emails and telephone calls — without individualized suspicion or probable cause,” and that “the director of the FBI has also confirmed that it uses this information to build criminal cases” against Americans. Massie added that the National Intelligence and FBI directors “are not above the Fourth Amendment, and this practice should end.” Massie’s amendment would also prohibit funds from being used to pressure companies to build “backdoors” into their products for surveillance.|
The House rejected Massie’s amendment on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 198 to 222 (Roll Call 321). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Massie’s amendment seeks to uphold the Constitution and its protection of privacy rights.
|H R 5293: Green-energy Mandates|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5293), Representative Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) introduced an amendment to bar the use of funds in the bill to carry out certain green-energy mandates that, McClintock said on the House floor, have forced the military “to squander billions of dollars.” Citing examples, McClintock noted: “These mandates have cost the Navy as much as $150 per gallon for jet fuel.... [They] forced the Air Force to pay $59 per gallon for 11,000 gallons of biofuel in 2012 — 10 times more than regular jet fuel cost.” Also, “At Naval Station Norfolk, the Navy spent $21 million to install a 10-acre solar array, which will supply a grand total of 2 percent of the base’s electricity … [and] pay for itself in only 447 years. Too bad solar panels only last 25 years.”|
The House passed McClintock’s amendment on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 221 to 197 (Roll Call 322). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the so-called green-energy mandates squander military resources and undermine the purpose of having a military, which is to defend the United States and win our wars.
|H R 5293: Aid to Pakistan|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5293), Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) introduced an amendment to prohibit the use of funds in the bill to provide aid to Pakistan, a supposed U.S. ally in the “war on terror.” Rohrabacher noted on the House floor: “Since 9/11, we have given Pakistan well over $30 billion, the majority of which goes to military and security services of Pakistan. And Pakistan has used those services to murder and oppress their people.... It is a grotesque charade for us to suggest that our aid is buying Pakistani cooperation in the war on radical Islamic terrorism or in anything else.”|
The House rejected Rohrabacher’s amendment on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 84 to 336 (Roll Call 325). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because U.S. foreign aid is unconstitutional, and aid sent to Pakistan has undermined rather than helped the cause of freedom.
|H R 5293: Aid to Syria|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5293), Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) introduced an amendment to prohibit the use of funds in the bill for the Syria Train and Equip Program. Through this program, the U.S. government has armed so-called moderate jihadists who are not fighting for freedom but for an Islamic State under Sharia law, not just in Syria but beyond — the same goal as ISIS. In her House speech advocating her amendment, Gabbard warned that “overthrowing Assad … would strengthen groups like ISIS and al Qaeda, allowing them to take over all of Syria, creating an even worse humanity crisis and an even greater threat to the world.”|
The House rejected Gabbard’s amendment on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 135 to 283 (Roll Call 328). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because U.S. foreign aid is unconstitutional, and arming so-called moderate jihadists to fight Assad is both counterproductive and tantamount to going to war in Syria.
|H R 5293: Authorization for Use of Military Force|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5293), Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to prohibit the use of funds in the bill for the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Act. Enacted in the wake of 9/11, the AUMF authorized the president to “use all necessary and appropriate force” against the terrorists involved, as well as those who aided or harbored them. It was used as the authorization for U.S. military entry into Afghanistan in 2001, and over the years has also been invoked on other occasions by the executive branch to justify U.S. military intervention abroad.|
The House rejected Lee’s amendment on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 146 to 274 (Roll Call 330). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because presidents have been able to claim broad authority to go to war whenever or wherever they choose under the AUMF, despite the fact that the Founding Fathers never intended for one man to make this decision, and under the Constitution only Congress may “declare war.”
|H R 5471: Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 5471) would authorize the Homeland Security Department to train state and local law enforcement in methods for countering violent extremism and terrorism. This training would take place at fusion centers that have been established across the nation by the Homeland Security Department and the U.S. Department of Justice for promoting information sharing between agencies such as the CIA, FBI, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. military, and state- and local-level governments. It also would require the department to incorporate testimonials of former extremists and their friends and families into its efforts to combat terrorist recruitment and communications.|
The House passed H.R. 5471 on June 16 , 2016 by a vote of 402 to 15 (Roll Call 333). We have assigned pluses to the nays because providing federal training to state and local law-enforcement programs is not only unconstitutional, but also further federalizes the police system.
|H R 4775: Ozone Standards|
|Vote Date: June 8, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|This bill (H.R.4775) would delay implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone from 2017 to 2025. The new ozone standard, which was promulgated in 2015, would lower allowable ozone levels from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. The day of the vote, the National Association of Manufacturers stated that by lowering the standard “at a time when states and manufacturers are still trying to meet the existing requirements, the administration added another layer of red tape that will hold back job creation.”|
The House passed H.R. 4775 on June 8, 2016 by a vote of 234 to 177 (Roll Call 282). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government possesses no constitutional authority to set emission standards, ozone levels have been dropping anyway, and Americans need jobs.
|H R 5055: Energy|
|Vote Date: May 25, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|During consideration of the Energy-Water appropriations bill (H.R. 5055), Representative Ken Buck (R-Colo.) introduced an amendment that would eliminate funding for Energy Department energy efficiency and renewable energy activities, nuclear energy activities, and fossil energy research and development.The $3.5 billion in savings that would result from such cuts would be transferred to a spending reduction account.|
The House rejected Buck’s amendment on May 25, 2016 by a vote of 80 to 339 (Roll Call 244). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should not be in the business of subsidizing energy production (which is unconstitutional), let alone picking “winners and losers” in the marketplace by propping up favored companies with grants and research money while others do not receive such help.
|H R 4909: Environmental Executive Orders|
|Vote Date: May 18, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4909), Representative John Fleming (R-La.) introduced an amendment that would prohibit the use of funds for President Obama’s executive orders that require the Defense Department to meet “green” energy mandates and incorporate climate-change reviews in operations, acquisitions, and planning.Fleming noted in a statement the day after his amendment was voted on that the orders “require EPA bureaucrats and other political appointees to direct our military commanders on how to run their installations and to purchase inefficient and expensive ‘green’ technologies. This is despite readily available and often less expensive conventional fuels. Purchasing heavily subsidized Chevy Volts and prohibitive solar panels to satisfy the President’s climate change agenda represents the choice not to provide our soldiers with needed training and equipment.”|
The House adopted Fleming’s amendment on May 18, 2016 by a vote of 227 to 198 (Roll Call 209). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Obama’s “green” and climate-change mandates for the military harm the U.S. military’s readiness to defend the United States.
|H R 4909: Use of Military Force|
|Vote Date: May 18, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4909), Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that was enacted in 2001 for the purpose of authorizing U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. Since then, however, the AUMF has been invoked numerous times by the executive branch for U.S. military intervention not only in Afghanistan but elsewhere.|
The House rejected Lee’s amendment on May 18, 2016 by a vote of 138 to 285 (Roll Call 210). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because presidents have been able to claim broad authority to go to war whenever or wherever they choose under the AUMF, despite the fact that the Founding Fathers never intended for one man to make this decision, and under the Constitution only Congress may “declare war.”
|H R 2666: Broadband Rate Regulation|
|Vote Date: April 15, 2016||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 2666) would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from regulating the rates Internet service providers charge their customers for broadband Internet service access. By regulating broadband rates, the FCC would not only be regulating the cost of accessing the Internet but would also be discouraging service providers, which would no longer be able to set their own|
prices, from investing in the Internet market.Bill sponsor Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) explained regarding his bill, “All we’re doing is taking back a little bit of power from the FCC and saying, look, let’s keep the Internet free-market.”
The House passed H.R. 2666 on April 15, 2016 by a vote of 241 to 173 (Roll Call 152). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Internet sector, like the broader economy, should be a free market, and the federal government has no constitutional authority to intrude
|H R 1567: Global Food Security Strategy|
|Vote Date: April 12, 2016||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 1567) would require the president to coordinate development and implementation of a global food security strategy, and would authorize approximately $1 billion for fiscal 2017 to implement portions of the strategy that relate to the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).|
The House passed H.R. 1567 on April 12, 2016 by a vote of 370 to 33 (Roll Call 139). We have assigned pluses to the nays because feeding the world is not a proper responsibility of the U.S. government. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there any authorization for the federal government to feed the American people, let alone citizens of other countries. Furthermore, offering “aid” to impoverished countries is often a means to prop up dictators who will bend to the will of the wealthy country in exchange for money. Such corrupt rulers have little regard for the welfare of their people, so the “aid” rarely finds its way to the people who need it most.
|H RES 639: Executive Action on Immigration|
|Vote Date: March 17, 2016||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|This measure (House Resolution 639) would authorize the speaker of the house to appear as an amicus curiae (aka “friend of the court”) in the case of United States, et al. v. Texas, et al., “and to file a brief in support of the position that the [Obama administration has] acted in a manner that is not consistent with [its] duties under the Constitution and laws of the United States.” This case was brought by 26 states against the Obama administration for its November 2014 executive actions that would defer deportation and provide work permits for illegal immigrants. Representative Ted Poe (R-Texas) explained the essence of the case in a speech in the House of Representatives on March 17, 2016: “This unprecedented, unilateral action by the executive branch was a nullification of immigration law of the United States. And it was not done by Congress. It was done by administrative edict that came from the White House….So what value is the law or the Constitution if the executive, who is supposed to enforce the law — not make it, as we all learned in ninth grade civics — sends out a memo saying it will no longer enforce the law?”|
The House adopted H. Res. 639 on March 17, 2016 by a vote of 234 to 186(Roll Call 129). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because it is constitutionally exemplary for the House of Representatives to take legal action to uphold Congress’ sole authority to legislate regarding naturalization and to make the point that the executive branch has the duty to enforce the laws made by Congress.
|H R 3797: Refuse Coal Power Plant Emission Standards.|
|Vote Date: March 15, 2016||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|This bill (H.R.3797) would ease emission requirements imposed on power plants that generate affordable energy from coal-mining refuse.Specifically, H.R. 3797 would provide additional sulfur dioxide emission allocations for refuse coal power plants under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, and it would also provide these plants with alternative means to comply with the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), said in a news release the day of the vote that this legislation would “allow for the continued viability of coal refuse-to-energy firms” that may not otherwise be able to comply with EPA regulations.|
The House passed H.R. 3797 on March 15, 2016 by a vote of 231 to 183 (Roll Call 123). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not only because H.R. 3797 would ease emissions regulations threatening the viability of refuse coal power plants, which benefit the environment by utilizing coal-mining byproduct as an energy source, but also because the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate plant emissions to begin with.
|H R 3762: ObamaCare|
|Vote Date: February 2, 2016||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|This legislation (H.R. 3762) would repeal significant portions of the 2010 ObamaCare law and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. According to Representative Tom Cole (R-Okla.) in a speech in the House of Representatives, January 6, 2016, this bill “does [four] important things: it repeals the individual mandate, eliminates the employer mandates, eliminates the taxes on prescription drugs and medical devices, and it places a moratorium on taxpayer funding to abortion providers.”|
On February 2, 2016, the House voted 241 to 186 to override President Obama’s veto of this legislation (Roll Call 53). The override attempt failed since a two-thirds majority vote is required to override a veto. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government has no constitutional authority to require individuals to purchase health insurance, to manage the healthcare industry, or to provide funds to organizations that terminate the lives of the preborn.
|S J RES 22: Waters of the United States|
|Vote Date: January 13, 2016||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|This legislation (Senate Joint Resolution 22) would provide for congressional disapproval of the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule submitted by the Corps of Engineers and the EPA. Under the proposed rule, former Representative Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) noted, “Federal agencies like the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers would see their regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act drastically expanded, to the point of covering almost any body of water throughout America, from ditches to culverts to pipes to watersheds to farmland ponds.”|
The House passed S. J. Res. 22 on January 13, 2016 by a vote of 253 to 166 (Roll Call 45). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because both federal water regulations and the EPA are unconstitutional, and if the rule were to be allowed to go into effect, activities such as farming and real estate development would be greatly hampered, since farmers and developers would be subject to increased unconstitutional permit requirements and fines concerning their treatment of almost any “body of water,” no matter how small.
|H R 2029: Omnibus Appropriations|
|Vote Date: December 18, 2015||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|The omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2029) would provide $1.15 trillion in “discretionary” appropriations in fiscal 2016 for federal departments and agencies covered by the 12 unfinished fiscal 2016 spending bills. This represents an overall increase in discretionary spending of five percent over 2015 levels.|
The omnibus bill would continue funding for President Obama’s 2012 unconstitutional amnesty, which has already granted work permits to around 700,000 illegal aliens, as well as the ability to receive tax credits and federal entitlement programs. It also continues funding for all of President Obama’s refugee programs. Furthermore, the omnibus continues federal funding for Planned Parenthood despite the widespread demand from voters to stop these funds.
The House agreed to the omnibus appropriations bill on December 18, 2015 by a vote of 316 to 113 (Roll Call 705). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this omnibus bill members of Congress are failing to address their fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars, as well as minimizing their accountability to the voters by combining all discretionary federal spending for fiscal 2016 into one gigantic “take it or leave it” bill.
|S 1177: Education|
|Vote Date: December 2, 2015||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|This bill (S. 1177), the Every Student Succeeds Act (first introduced as the Every Child Achieves Act), would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESAA) for four years, through fiscal 2020. The bill would replace the No Child Left Behind Act and continue the requirement for regular standardized testing in core subject areas such as math, reading, and science, with scores for the standardized tests to be separated by categories such as race and income to determine if any “subgroup” is lagging academically. The bill would also require states to develop plans to help low performing public schools.|
The House passed S. 1177 on December 2, 2015 by a vote of 359 to 64 (Roll Call 665). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved with education;nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is education listed as one of the government’s enumerated powers. K-12 education, if publicly funded, should be run primarily by parents coordinating with local school districts rather than by a centralized bureaucracy out of Washington, D.C.
|S J RES 24: Power Plant Emissions.|
|Vote Date: December 1, 2015||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|This legislation (Senate Joint Resolution 24) would disapprove of and nullify the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule relating to “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources:Electric Utility Generating Units,” published on October 23, 2015. According to Congressional Quarterly, the EPA rule “sets different emissions targets for 49 states based on their existing energy profile and requires each state to reduce emissions by a certain amount by 2030.” Upon passage of the bill by the House of Representatives, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the original Senate sponsor, said in a statement, “Hardworking families cannot afford these crushing regulations that threaten jobs and affordable energy while doing little to actually improve the environment.”|
The House adopted S. J. Res. 24 on December 1, 2015 by a vote of 242 to 180 (Roll Call 650). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should not hinder existing power plants with regulations that stifle energy production and increase rates, there is no authorization in the Constitution for the federal government to interfere in the energy sector, and CO2 is not a pollutant.
|H R 1314: Raising the Spending Cap and Suspending the National Debt|
|Vote Date: October 28, 2015||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 1314) would suspend the national debt limit until March 15, 2017, at which time the ceiling on how much money the federal government is allowed to borrow would be reestablished at the size of the federal debt at that time.The bill would also raise caps intended to limit “discretionary” federal spending by $50 billion for fiscal 2016 and $30 billion for fiscal 2017.|
The House agreed to the legislation on October 28, 2015 by a vote of 266 to 167 (Roll Call 579). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should live within its means, suspending the debt limit is even worse than raising it,and most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional.
|H R 597: Export-Import Bank|
|Vote Date: October 27, 2015||Vote: NONE||No Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 597), the Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2015, would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank’s charter through fiscal 2019. Additionally,the bill would reduce the limit on the Ex-Im Bank’s outstanding loans, guarantees,and insurance from $140 billion to $135 billion, as well as prohibit the bank from issuing new loans if the default rate reaches two percent. Under the new charter,the Ex-Im Bank would be required to increase the amount of its financing dedicated to small businesses from 20 to 25 percent,and be subject to a Government Accountability Office audit every four years.|
The House passed H.R. 597 on October 27, 2015 by a vote of 313 to 118 (Roll Call 576). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Export-Import Bank is a poster boy for corporate cronyism. The government finances or insures foreign purchases from U.S. companies that commercial banks are unwilling or unable to finance owing to the political or commercial risks inherent in the deals, leaving taxpayers on the hook in the event of default. Constitutionally speaking, the U.S. government should not be underwriting private businesses at taxpayers’ expense, regardless of whether or not such businesses are small,“mom and pop” companies.
|H R 3134: Defunding Planned Parenthood|
|Vote Date: September 18, 2015||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 3134) would cut off federal funding of Planned Parenthood and its clinics and affiliates for one year, unless they certify that they will not perform abortions, and will not provide money to any entity that performs abortions, during the one-year moratorium. Overall funding would not be reduced, since the funding prohibited to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, would instead be redirected to community health centers that do not perform abortions. The legislation includes exceptions for abortions in cases of rape or incest, or when the mother’s life is endangered.|
The House passed H.R. 3134 on September 18, 2015 by a vote of 241 to 187 (Roll Call 505). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should not, and has no constitutional authority to, subsidize the killing of innocent human life.
|H R 427: Major Regulations|
|Vote Date: July 28, 2015||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|This bill(H.R. 427) is entitled the “Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act” and is also known as the REINS Act. It would prohibit the executive branch from putting into effect major rules — rules having an economic impact of at least $100 million per year — until those rules are approved by Congress. The intent of the legislation is to rein in the executive from usurping legislative powers via executive fiat.|
The House passed the REINS Act on July 28, 2015 by a vote of 243 to 165 (Roll Call 482). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because all legislative powers in the Constitution are vested in Congress, not the executive branch. Mandatory rules issued by the executive branch might not be called laws, but they have the same effect as laws, and what they are called does not change the reality.
|H R 5: Common Core|
|Vote Date: July 8, 2015||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|During consideration of the Student Success Act(H.R. 5), Representative Lee Zeldin (RN.Y.) introduced an amendment that would allow states to withdraw from the Common Core State Standards or any other specific standards, if they choose, without fear of any direct or indirect penalty from the federal government.|
The House adopted Zeldin’s amendment on July 8, 2015 by a vote of 373 to 57 (Roll Call 410). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government has no constitutional authority to interject itself into the education sector,and Common Core is intended to create a national curriculum leading to nationalized education.
|H R 1190: IPAB (Death Panel) Repeal|
|Vote Date: June 23, 2015||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|H.R. 1190, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2015, would repeal the provisions of ObamaCare providing for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), otherwise known as the “death panel.” Representative Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), who sponsored H.R.1190, described IPAB as “an unelected, unaccountable panel of bureaucrats” and “one of the worst parts of the president’s health care law.” Following passage of the bill, Roe released a statement saying in part, “After practicing medicine for more than 30 years, I can tell you that no two patients are the same; that different approaches are required for different needs. IPAB is blind to this fact — and will ration seniors’ access to care through one-size fits-all payment policies.”|
The House passed H.R. 1190 on June 23, 2015 by a vote of 244 to 154 (Roll Call 376). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to interfere in healthcare, let alone ration it by deciding who should and should not receive medical care.
|H R 2146: Trade Promotion Authority|
|Vote Date: June 18, 2015||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|The TPA, introduced as an amendment to an otherwise relatively innocuous bill about public safety employment withdrawals, would renew the on-again-off-again “fast track authority”that Congress has often awarded to the president over the past several decades.The essential features of TPA are: (1) Congress unconstitutionally delegates its constitutional authority “to regulate commerce with foreign nations” to the executive branch; and (2) Congress dramatically increases the probability of its approval of foreign trade agreements negotiated by the executive branch by restricting itself to voting up or down by simple majority on the agreements, with no ability to amend the agreements and with no possibility of filibusters in the Senate.So-called free-trade agreements that are negotiated under “fast track authority,” such as the already-existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), have in common a structure and purpose to create supranational political entities that would supersede the national independence of the United States. Genuine free trade would mean the absence of government involvement, but these agreements entail more than just trade and put the United States on a trajectory to regional governance similar to Europe’s trajectory from the Common Market to the EU.|
The House passed TPA on June 18,2015 by a vote of 218 to 208 (Roll Call374). We have assigned pluses to the nays because TPA would facilitate the subordination of the national independence of the United States to regional blocs of nations in a process that is leading toward a world government.
|H R 1314: Trade Act of 2015|
|Vote Date: June 12, 2015||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Trade Promotion Authority.|
The House held separate roll call votes on the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) sections of H.R. 1314. The TPA portion of the bill would renew the on-again-offagain "fast track authority" that Congress has often awarded to the president over the past several decades. The essential features of TPA are: (1) Congress unconstitutionally delegates its constitutional authority "to regulate commerce with foreign nations" to the Executive Branch; and (2) Congress dramatically increases the probability of approval of foreign trade agreements by restricting itself to voting up or down by simple majority on the agreements, as negotiated and submitted by the president, with no ability to amend the agreements and with no possibility of filibusters in the Senate.
So-called free-trade agreements that have already been passed under previously awarded "fast track authority," such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the currently proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), have in common a structure and purpose that would create supranational political entities that would supersede the national independence of the United States. Genuine free trade would mean the absence of government involvement, but these agreements entail more than just trade and put the United States on a trajectory to regional governance similar to Europe's trajectory from a Common Market to the EU.
The House agreed to the TPA section of H.R. 1314 on June 12, 2015 by a vote of 219 to 211 (Roll Call 362). We have assigned pluses to the nays because TPA would facilitate the subordination of the national independence of the United States to regional trading blocs.
|H R 2393: Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015|
|Vote Date: June 10, 2015||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Country of Origin Labeling. |
The proposed Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015 (H.R. 2393) would amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to repeal the requirements of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for beef, chicken, and pork sold in the United States. This vote came after the World Trade Organization's recent ruling against an appeal from the United States to keep its COOL. Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) opposed passage of the bill to repeal COOL. From the House floor, Massie elaborated: "What is the World Trade Organization, and who are they to tell Congress what laws we have to pass? These judges weren't appointed by the President. They weren't confirmed by the Senate. These are not judges from our Constitution. These are extra-constitutional judges, yet they are telling us here in Congress you have got to do this or there will be repercussions."
The House passed H.R. 2393 on June 10, 2015 by a vote of 300 to 131 (Roll Call 333). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this bill would cede national sovereignty over food-related choices and regulations to the WTO. Moreover, this bill would prevent American consumers from knowing where their food comes from.
|H R 1732: Regulatory Integrity Protection Act|
|Vote Date: May 12, 2015||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|EPA Waters Regulations. |
H.R. 1732 would order the secretary of the Army and the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw the notice of a proposed rule published in the Federal Register entitled "Definition of ‘Waters of the United States' Under the Clean Water Act" (April 21, 2014).
This legislation was introduced because of the EPA's sustained attempt to grab regulatory authority over virtually all surface water and groundwater throughout the United States ever since the Clean Water Act gave the EPA authority in 1972 to regulate "waters of the United States," defined as "navigable waters." Although the EPA has almost comically stretched the definition of "navigable waters" to include puddles, vernal pools, ditches, seasonal streams, and isolated ponds, this unconstitutional federal agency's power grab over "waters of the United States" has been repeatedly slapped down by the Supreme Court.
The House passed H.R. 1732 on May 12, 2015 by a vote of 261 to 155 (Roll Call 219). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the constitutionally dubious premise of federal regulation of "navigable waters" on the basis of the interstate commerce clause should not encompass puddles, ditches, seasonal streams, and isolated ponds on private lands.
|H R 1731: National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015|
|Vote Date: April 23, 2015||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Cyberspace Intelligence Sharing.|
The proposed National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act (NCPA) of 2015 (H.R. 1731) would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to expand the role of the Department of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity and Communication Integration Center, designating it the principal federal entity to receive and disseminate information about cyberspace threats from and to private companies and other federal agencies.
Expressing opposition to both H.R. 1731 and H.R. 1560, another related cybersecurity intelligence bill, Congressman Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said, "As drafted, these bills violate the Fourth Amendment, override privacy laws, and give the government unwarranted access to the personal information of potentially millions of Americans."
The House passed H.R. 1731 on April 23, 2015 by a vote of 355 to 63 (Roll Call 173). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this bill would further empower the unconstitutional Department of Homeland Security, erode the privacy protections enshrined in the Constitution, and gradually move the United States closer to becoming a police state.
|H R 1105: Death Tax Repeal Act|
|Vote Date: April 16, 2015||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|Estate Tax Repeal. |
H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, would amend the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the estate tax.
The House passed H.R. 1105 on April 16, 2015 by a vote of 240 to 179 (Roll Call 161). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the estate tax discourages upward mobility in America's middle class by making it prohibitively expensive to pass on a family business or farm to one's descendants. Even though proponents of the estate tax claim that its repeal would only benefit the super-rich at the expense of everyone else, the wealthy are often not adversely affected by the estate tax and can usually avoid it via accounting strategies and funneling money into tax-free foundations. In fact, in 2001 over 120 of America's wealthiest urged Congress not to repeal the estate tax.
As Representative Roger Williams (R-Texas) noted during debate on the bill, "The death tax is a tax on savings that have already been taxed on before.... Many second-generation business owners do not have the means to hire teams of accountants and lawyers to navigate the costly obstacles to save the family farm and save the family business.... As a small-business owner of 44 years, I have seen friends and colleagues lose gains earned from a lifetime of hard work because of Washington's greed and failed policies, like the death tax."
|H RES 162: Calling on the President to provide Ukraine with military assistance to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.|
|Vote Date: March 23, 2015||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Ukraine Military Aid. |
House Resolution 162, which calls on the president "to provide Ukraine with military assistance to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity," allows President Obama to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons to defend against aggression from Russia.
The House adopted H. Res. 162 on March 23, 2015 by a vote of 348 to 48 (Roll Call 131). We have assigned pluses to the nays not only because foreign aid is unconstitutional but also because this bill would further interject the United States into a foreign conflict. Allowing the U.S. president to provide lethal arms to Ukraine in order to fight Russia is tantamount to waging a proxy war on Russia without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war. The House, by giving such power to the president, is relinquishing one of its constitutional responsibilities.
|H R 749: To reauthorize Federal support for passenger rail programs and for other purposes|
|Vote Date: March 4, 2015||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Amtrak Reauthorization. |
The proposed Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (H.R. 749) would authorize $7.2 billion for Amtrak funding over the next four years, through 2019. Representative Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), who opposed the reauthorization of federal funds to Amtrak, noted: "We will shell out $45 every time a passenger steps aboard an Amtrak train. That is $45 per passenger per trip and directly billed to taxpayers, up from $32 from six years ago. Despite endless promises, things aren't getting better."
The House passed H.R. 749 on March 4, 2015 by a vote of 316 to 101 (Roll Call 112). We have assigned pluses to the nays because spending billions of tax dollars for Amtrak transportation is unconstitutional, and the spending has no chance of boosting the prospects of Amtrak to make it self-sufficient.
|H R 596: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and for other purposes|
|Vote Date: February 3, 2015||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|ObamaCare Repeal. |
H.R. 596 would repeal ObamaCare (Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152). Unfortunately, this bill also recommends the introduction of replacement legislation by providing specific instructions to House committees to submit replacement legislation based on a laundry list of 12 provisions briefly described in the bill, such as "foster[ing] economic growth and private sector job creation by eliminating job-killing policies and regulations," and "provid[ing] people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage." However, this bill does provide a clean repeal of the entire ObamaCare law and, in addition, requires only that several House committees propose replacement legislation.
The House passed H.R. 596 on February 3, 2015 by a vote of 239 to 186 (Roll Call 58). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government has no constitutional authority to require individuals to purchase health insurance or to manage the healthcare industry.
|H R 7: To prohibit taxpayer funded abortions.|
|Vote Date: January 22, 2015||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|Banning Federal Funding of Abortions. |
The "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015" (H.R. 7) would prohibit the expenditure of federal funds "for any abortion" or "for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion." The funding prohibition would not apply to abortions in cases of rape or incest or if the life of the mother is endangered.
The House passed H.R. 7 on January 22, 2015 by a vote of 242 to 179 (Roll Call 45). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not only because the government should not be subsidizing the killing of innocent human life, but also because there is no constitutional authority for the government to manage or finance the healthcare sector.
|H R 240: On Agreeing to the Amendment 1 to H R 240|
|Vote Date: January 14, 2015||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|Executive Action on Immigration. |
During consideration of the Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 240), Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) introduced an amendment that would prohibit the use of funds for carrying out President Obama's unconstitutional executive actions on illegal immigration. The amendment would defund the Obama administration executive actions announced on November 20, 2014, which would, as described by Aderholt, "grant deferred action to an estimated 4 million people in the country illegally and unlawfully."
The House adopted Aderholt's amendment on January 14, 2015 by a vote of 237 to 190 (Roll Call 29). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the president is not a "king" or "dictator" who may make his own law. Under the U.S. Constitution, "all legislative powers herein granted" are delegated to Congress, and it is the responsibility of the president to faithfully execute the law.